LiveGrow Bio Obtains Key US Patent Covering its Groundbreaking Microbial Formulation and Manufacturing Platform
Oct. 21, 2019
LiveGrow™ Platform is the missing link between all effective spore forming and, much more importantly, non-spore forming microbial organisms and their successful commercialization. While most biotech companies over the last decade have worked on isolation and development of effective microbial strains, LiveGrow Bio (Formerly AGPW Group) has instead focused on developing ways to successfully formulate and manufacture these strains at high concentration, low cost, and with extended shelf life.
“Six years ago we realized that you can have the best organisms in the world, but if you can’t produce them cheaply, they will never reach a wide market. So we set out to develop a platform that would allow us to produce any microbial organism, at a high concentration, with a useful shelf life, and with a cost of goods of under $5 per pound. We are now proud to say that we did it and this will change the biopesticide and biostimulant industry as we know it. Microbial products can now become a mainstream solution instead of just being niche,” said Andrey Pinchuk, President and CEO.
One major limiting factor to microbial products widespread adaptation has been their expensive manufacturing due to the high cost associated with their stabilization and formulation. Current production methods involve the three expensive steps of fermentation, isolation of spores, and shelf stable formulation of these spores. This manufacturing flow requires expensive facilities and staff, ultimately resulting in cost of goods that is too high to be commercially viable for most crops. LiveGrow™ Platform overcomes this challenge, by reducing these three steps into one: fermentation. Instead of using large fermenters or solid state fermentation facilities to grow spores, followed by isolating, stabilizing, and formulating them, LiveGrow™ achieves all three steps inside the final product packaging without downstream processing. Microbes are grown and maintained within the patented matrix formulation inside each product package where they remain metabolically active and shelf stable for up to 18 months at room temperature, thereby making each package a small scale “fermenter” with great shelf life. This radical, yet simple, change eliminates the need for complex fermentation facilities and expensive stabilization methods that are currently driving the high cost of microbial products. In addition, LiveGrow™ production technique does not require spores and therefore allows any available organism to be used to create a product. This means that for the first time, Gram negative strains can now be easily produced into
highly effective, shelf-stable products at an extremely low cost.
Another major limiting factor to the widespread adaptation of microbial products has been their limited efficacy and consistency in the field due to the shortcoming of currently used product formulations. These dormant, spore based formulations require extended time to become metabolically active when applied in the field, during which time a large percentage of them are destroyed by the surrounding biota. LiveGrow™ Platform completely bypasses this issue by eliminating the time necessary for microbes to activate when applied in the field. LiveGrow™ formulated products are delivered in a metabolically active formulation which requires nearly zero time for them to start performing. This results in the majority quickly reaching their targets, thus increasing efficacy and consistency. In turf field trials, microbes formulated through LiveGrow™ Platform have shown visible results in as little as five days, a huge improvement over dormant, spore-based formulations.
With US patent protection complete, LiveGrow Bio is now planning to proceed with registering its first biofungicide. It will be formulated using the biofungicidal strain, Streptomyces lydicus, currently found in the popular product Actinovate. Producing this strain using the LiveGrow™ Platform will significantly lower the cost of goods of this organism allowing it to be sold to all crop segments, including wheat, corn, soy, and cotton, while increasing its efficacy through a highly concentrated and metabolically active formulation.
Additionally, LiveGrow Bio will continue to independently pursue impactful biostimulant and biopesticidal solutions to improve both the quality and yield of numerous crops throughout North America and Europe. The company will be also working in collaboration with other organizations on specific projects under the LiveGrow™ Certified program. Microbials have garnered considerable attention from leading agricultural companies in recent years due to a strong push for sustainable solutions to feed the growing global population. LiveGrow™ Platform offers an innovative, cheap, and efficient way to formulate and manufacture such solutions. It will help pesticide manufacturers to transition away from chemicals through consistently effective microbial products with high sales margins. It will also assist growers in raising their bottom line by increasing yield and quality of their crops and by reducing their input costs.
The LiveGrow™ Platform patent is the first US patent granted from a pipeline of IP by LiveGrow Bio related to the LiveGrow™ Platform and microbial solutions that can help address important agricultural and environmental issues.
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